Shockwaves sweep across the world:
Music legend Michael Jackson dies
US: Michael Jackson died Thursday after suffering a cardiac
arrest, sending shockwaves sweeping across the world and tributes
pouring in for the tortured music icon revered as the “King of Pop.”
Jackson, 50, collapsed at his rented mansion in the exclusive Los
Angeles neighborhood of Holmby Hills and was rushed to hospital by
paramedics before being pronounced dead at 2:26 pm (2126 GMT).
One of the most influential figures in pop history whose four-decade
career included the highest-selling album of all-time, “Thriller,”
Jackson had been preparing for a concert comeback in London next month
he had dubbed “the final curtain.”
News of the death triggered an outpouring of grief as shocked
celebrities, foreign governments and devoted fans paid tribute to the
troubled star who struggled to rebuild his career after a 2005 acquittal
for child abuse.
Lieutenant Fred Corral, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County
Coroner’s office, said an autopsy would likely be carried out on Friday
and would not speculate on the exact cause of death.
Jackson’s brother Jermaine, the family’s official spokesman, later
revealed physicians had battled for more than an hour to revive the star
after his arrival at the UCLA Medical Center before he was pronounced
“Our family requests that the media please respect our privacy during
this tough time,” Jermaine Jackson said. “May Allah be with you,
As the sun began to sink over Los Angeles, a coroner’s office
helicopter bearing Jackson’s body took off from the UCLA Medical Center,
where hundreds of media and fans had gathered throughout the day.
Meanwhile police motorcycle riders surrounded Jackson’s gated mansion
as crowds of tourists and fans congregated.
Pop diva Madonna was among dozens of celebrities who struggled to
cope. “I can’t stop crying over the sad news,” the singer said in a
statement. “The world has lost one of the greats, but his music will
live on forever!”
The star’s first wife Lisa Marie Presley, the daughter of Elvis
Presley, said his death had left her speechless. “I am so very sad and
confused with every emotion possible. I am heartbroken for his children,
who I know were everything to him, and for his family,” Presley told MTV
News in a statement.
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband also posted his thoughts on
micro-blogging site Twitter. “Never has one soared so high and yet dived
so low. RIP Michael,” Miliband wrote.
Lana Brown, a 49-year-old tourist from Dallas, broke down in tears as
she digested the news. “Right today, I can’t believe we might have lost
the best entertainer this world has ever seen,” she told AFP. Jackson’s
death came as the singer prepared to make a keenly anticipated concert
comeback in London, his first series of shows in more than a decade.
But those concerts were thrown into doubt after Jackson pushed back
the opening dates last month, although organizers insisted the delay was
not linked to his health.
“I would trade my body for his tomorrow. He’s in fantastic shape,”
Randy Phillips of concert backers AEG Live said at the time.
But Jackson attorney and family spokesman Brian Oxman said he had
harbored concerns over the singer’s condition, revealing that he had
taking prescription medication as he prepared for his comeback.
Oxman compared Jackson’s fate to the overdose death of Playboy
centerfold Anna-Nicole Smith, voicing concern over “enablers” in his
entourage. Los Angeles, Friday, AFP